RE: Gouvernementality / Il faut défendre la société

A) I have just read the german discussion in historical science about
anthropological methodlogy "Alltagsgeschichte" vs. Sociologist
methology, "historische Sozialwissenschaft", so i am looking forward to
check this solid one! (I am kidding, it sounds really nice, thanks a

B) I see i was wrong about this. I have my view about the Habermas-
Foucault controversy from Achim Bühl same title in Prokla 130 (2003)
where he says the Habermas- Foucault controversy didn't happen, in fact
it was an artifact of the american intellectual context. (p. 164) They
also say Habermas ruined the reception of Foucault in germany. There are
many social scientists around here, who want to "burn that
poststructuralist witches" because of these disguisting things they say
about individual and society. Anyway this messy reception brought us
Thomas Lemke's "eine Kritik der politischen Vernunft" wich was written
in Frankfurt, Habermas's home base, that's why i told about this. It's a
book about the gouvernmentality, based on the original audio tapes, we
young Göttinger radicals love it because of it's "state" theory. (except
those who like Adorno).

see also


A. Regulating the Social

George Steinmetz has written a book "Regulating the Social: The Welfare
State and Local Politics
in Imperial Germany" (1993 Princeton Univ. Press). This is a solid
historical sociology to explain the emergence of the social, at which
welfare policies were targeted, in Imperial Germany by using Foucault
with other theories of the state and/or governmentality.

B. Foucault on Habermas

In his essay "The Ethics of the Concern of the Self as a Practice of
Freedom" (in Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth, edited by Paul Rainbow),
Foucault said: "I imagine you are thinking a little about Habermas when
say that. I am quite interested in his work, although I know he
disagrees with my views.... I do not think that a society can exist
power relations, if by that one means the strategies by which
try to direct and control the conduct of others. The problem, then, is
to try to dissolve them in the utopia of completely transparent
communication but to acquire the rules of law, the management
and also the morality, the ethos, the practice of the self, that will
us to play these games of power with as little domination as possible"

Therefore, it is possible to say that Habermas and Foucault start from
opposite poles, but try to reach the very similar goal. Butler, Laclau,
Zizek in their "Contingency, Hegemony, Universality" (2000) in a sense
recasts the Habermas-Foucault debate over the relationship between
and power.


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